Sakigake!! Otokojuku (魁!!男塾?, lit. Charge! Men's Private School) by Akira Miyashita is a comedy martial arts manga that was originally serialized at the Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1985 to 1991. It is staged in a private boy's school that teaches ōendan to troubled teenagers. The students are trained to "revive the Spirit of Japan" and mainly engage in fighting or killing courses. The nature of the manga is usually considered by the readers as a comical, or even parodic view of Japanese nationalism.
The genius principal of the private school, Heihachi Edajima, was a war hero during World War II. He trained his students to play an active role in politics, economics and industries in Japan and all over the world, though the way of training is highly anachronistic.
The martial arts depicted in this series are also highly exaggerated. Whenever someone is about to play an otherworldly trick, the author draws a sidebar to explain it and cites an encyclopedia-style explanation from books published by "Minmei Publishing Co." (民明書房) which is a fictitious story-telling device. For example, one of the minor villains had ability to control a crocodile. The side note stated, "In South Asia, there are regions heavily populated by various killer crocodiles. In the 18th century, a technique for controlling these crocodiles was developed by a secret tribe of beastmasters. Using this technique, the tribes defended their territory from outsiders. For this reason, crocodiles are considered sacred and their religion worships a crocodile god. Even now, in certain South Asian countries, the killing of a crocodile is a capital offense. Last year, a Japanese tourist caught unwittingly carrying a crocodile-skin handbag was hanged. - Crocodile Dandy"
Early Gag Manga Arc
The strongest of the Otokojuku first years, Momotaro Tsurugi, while enduring and overcoming the strict training of the malicious instructors and the second years, resolves the problems of the other first years with wisdom, kindness, and a manly spirit.
Kyoura Daiyon Kyousatsu Arc
The budget of Otokojuku falls into the red, so Edajima devises to throw the Gakuensai (愕怨祭?) festival in order to collect profits. However just as the festival reaches a climax, Omito Date and his Kanto Gogakuren attack. When they are unable to settle the dispute through Otokojuku's specialty matches, Edajima suggests the Kyoura Daiyon Kyousatsu (驚邏大四凶殺 The 4 Great Astonishing Assaults?). Date and the Gogakuren agree and the battles take place on the sacred Mt. Fuji.
Dai Ishin Pa-Lien Seiha Arc
After the conclusion of the Kyoura Daiyon Kyousatsu, Momo descends the mountain to find his friends still alive. Their joyous moment is interrupted when they are called out by the third years. They then head to Tendo Shirne to face the third years in the Dai Ishin Paren Seiha (大威震八連制覇 Great Pa-Lien (Unified Eight) Quaking Conquest?).
Tenchou Gorin Dai Bukai Arc
After the Paren Seiha is ended, Momo and the gang are called to the headmaster’s room. There they are shown a war film about how the US Army discovered a skillfully disguised Japanese Army secret base and destroyed it. When some of the students doubt this, Edajima tells them of a man who held a position in the US Army. That man’s name was Takemitsu Isa, now known as Hyoei Todo. The student now wish to attack this inhuman Todo, so they participate in Tenchou Gorin Dai Bukai (天挑五輪大武會 Challenge the Heavens Olympics Great Tournament?) which he sponsors.
Battle of the Seven Tusks Arc
One month after the Tenchou Gorin, Momo and the gang welcome the newly enrolled students. During Momo’s fight over his title as representative with new first year Souji Togo, an incident occurs in the headmaster’s room. Despite his overwhelming fighting power, Edajima suffers a defeat before a capture gun strong enough to take down an elephant. He is kidnapped and his assailants escape into the air. The students then set out for the Battle of the Seven Tusks (七牙冥界闘 Batoru Obu Sebun Tasukusu?) in order to rescue Edajima.
Fuun Rakanjuku Arc
Edajima's lifelong rival Kinzo Kumada creates another Otokojuku called Fu'un Rakanjuku (風雲羅漢塾 Wind and Clouds Arhat Private School?), and as they agreed upon three years ago, Otokojuku and Rakanjuku compete against each other in the Go Konsen (五魂遷 5 Spirit Transitions?) match.
Sakigake!! Otokojuku was serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Jump from Issue 22 of 1985 to Issue 35 of 1991. The series was collected in 34 collected volumes published under the Jump Comics imprint.
- Higher than the Sky (天より高く?): Some troubled student's previous lives as warring heavenly deities.
- Peerless: The Legend of Heihachi Edajima (天下無双 江田島平八伝?): On Edajima's restless childhood and youthful days.
- Akatsuki!! Otokojuku: Seinen yo, Daishi wo Idake (曉!!男塾 青年よ、大死を抱け?, lit. "Daybreak!! Men's Private School: Men, Embrace the Great Death"): Set over 10 years after the conclusion of Sakigake!! Otokojuku, this manga focuses on Shishimaru Tsurugi, son of Momotaro Tsurugi from the previous series, and a new generation of Otokojuku students, while still featuring much of the same school staff. Like Sakigake!!, the plot focuses on the hellish training of Otokojuku, fighting enemies, and the births of new friendships.
Sakigake!! Otokojuku was adapted into a TV anime series produced by Toei Animation. Directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa, the series aired on Fuji TV from February 25 to November 14, 1988, lasting 34 episodes. The opening theme is Yogorecchimatta kanashimi ni (汚れっちまった悲しみに?), while the ending theme is Ikujidai Arimashite (幾時代ありまして?), both performed by Issei Fuubi Sepia.
After the anime was ended, a two-part audio drama tape was sold, covering the Tenchou Gorin Arc. The same voice cast from the anime was used.
- Preliminary League Arc
- Hien vs. Shuten Doji
- Jaki Daigouin vs. Zeus
- Omito Date vs. Ryuuhou
- Momotaro Tsurugi vs. Shu Kougen
- Finals League Arc
- Genji Togashi/Ryuuji Toramaru vs. Amon/Unmon
- Momotarou Tsurugi vs. Pharaoh
- Gekkou vs. Souketsu
- Omito Date vs. Ryoukou
- Famicom game - Sakigake!! Otokojuku (released March 3, 1989). The series was also represented in the two cross-over games Famicom Jump and Famicom Jump II: The Strongest Seven.
- Game Boy game - Sakigake!! Otokojuku - Meikoushima Kessen (released Aug. 4, 1990)
- Playstation game - Simple 2000 - The Dodgeball - Sakigake!! Otokojuku (released Aug. 29, 2002)
- Playstation 2 game - Sakigake!! Otokojuku (released Nov. 10, 2005)
- Playable Characters: Heihachi Edajima, Momotaro Tsurugi, Genji Togashi, Ryuuji Toramaru, J, Gouji Akashi, Raiden, Gekko, Hien, Omito Date, Manjimaru, Senkuu, Eikei, Rasetsu, Jaki Daigouin, Pharaoh, Sou Reigen, Gouki Toudou, Hakuhou, Zeus, Shishimaru Tsurugi (secret).
- Nintendo DS - Jump Ultimate Stars (released Nov. 23 2006)
- Otokojuku (school)
- Sakigake!! Cromartie Kōkō, an unrelated but similarly named manga
- Osu!! Karate Bu
- Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, a video game
- Sakigake!! Otokojuku Toei Animation Site (Japanese)
- Otokojuku Shueisha Home Page (Japanese)
- PS2 Game Official Site (Japanese)
- The World of Arashima Hatenkou (Japanese)
- Sakigake!! Otokojuku Fansite (Japanese)
- Sakigake!! Otokojuku Live Action Film Official Site (Japanese)